Why Rewatching Your Favorite TV Shows Can Be Good For Your Mental Health, According To Psychology

If you love to binge watch your favorite TV shows over and over again, despite being made fun of by your friends and maybe even worrying them at times, you’re in luck! As it turns out, rewatching TV shows can actually be good for your mental health.

Various studies have explored the psychological impact of favorites on television. For example, a series of four studies published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 2009 found links to an increased sense of belonging and decreased feelings of rejection and loneliness when study participants thought about their familiar TV faves.

The reason rewatching favorite shows can be helpful to us when we may be feeling down and disconnected from others is because of the familiarity our favorite shows provide. As Shira Gabriel, PhD, one of the study’s co-authors told Everyday Health“Rewatching shows allows us to dive into a social world that we already know and already feel connected to. It is a fast way to feel connected, much like talking to an old friend makes one feel connected more quickly than a new person.”

This also might explain why we sometimes try to say what characters on these TV shows remind us of our friends and ourselves. For example, when talking about Sex And The City, people will say they’re the Carrie in their group while their bestie is Samantha and their other pal is definitely Miranda.

Rewatching our favorite TV shows can also be incredibly comforting and provide a safe space to regulate our emotions and decompress. These shows give a sense of safety, especially when we may be stressed out from work, struggling in our relationships, or anxious in general.

Whatever your favorite TV show may be, this is your sign that it’s okay to turn it on and enjoy it over and over and over again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some Brooklyn-99 to rewatch!


About the author

Molly Burford

Writer. Editor. Hufflepuff. Dog person.